PEFTEC 2017 - Abstract

Abstract Title: The relationship between the water content in the Irtish River and adjacent groundwater containing accumulated technical mercury
Abstract Type: Poster
Presenter Name: Prof A. V Ubaskin
Company/Organisation: S.Toraighyrov Pavlodar State University
Session Choice: Environmental Monitoring of Water

Abstract Information :

The territory of the now not working with mercury Production Association "Khimprom" in Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan is the place of one of the largest mercury technogenic pollution. In accordance with the data of preliminary observations, losses of mercury at the period of 1975 - 1990 were more than 1000 tons. The pollution was distributed to the depth of 20 meters. The impermeable barrier from bentonite clay with a depth of 15-20 m as "the wall in the soil" was built around the mercury underground storages to prevent mercury from entering the natural waters in particular in the Irtish River. It was created the network of wells to monitor groundwater.

Panichkin V. Yu. (2003) created the hydrological model on the basis of which it was concluded that by the end of the forecast 30-year period the size of area of pollution of underground waters will be preserved while a large amount of mercury will be sorbed by clay rocks. It is predicted that as a result of evaporation of groundwater the size of area of mercury pollution will rise and the concentration of mercury in the water near the groundwater table will increase.

When carrying out long-term research works we noted that the lakes located at a distance of 30-50 km from the Irtysh River channel change their water content synchronically to the water content of the Irtysh River. This led us to the idea of determining the possible relationship between the volumes of the Irtysh River spring filling and the mercury content in the observation wells. It was taken into account that the source of underground pollution is located only in 5 km from the Irtysh River.

In the main channel of the Irtysh River there are three large hydroelectric power stations that regulate the water content in the river, depending on the size of the reservoirs and the amount of electricity generated. Only for the last 10 years the maximum water content in the Irtysh River in the area of mercury contamination has exceeded the minimum indicator almost in 3 times.

An analysis of monitoring results for 2005-2013 shows that the processes of moving accumulated mercury in groundwater are proceeding. The highest concentration of mercury in all control wells was registered in 2012, when the water content in the river was the lowest. In the following year, with a large amount of water, mercury concentration decreased and increased to maximum values within one year.

Thus, a general analysis of the available data indicates the relationship between the dynamic processes of water content in the Irtysh River and the hydrological processes in groundwater and mercury disposal sites. The small amount of data does not allow us to assess the degree of correlation of these processes, to forecast the existence of stable trends and to build ecological forecasts. At the same time, it is highly desirable to include in the Mercury Monitoring Program the accounting of the hydrological characteristics of groundwater in places of mercury pollution and the Irtysh River. It is important to determine the long-term possible correlation between the amount of water in the Irtysh River and groundwater containing mercury. This will allow predicting the further distribution of the size of area of mercury contamination of groundwater to assess the effectiveness of measures for demercurization.